Kobe Bryant could definitely use a little boost for the coming season.
Bryant has left the team for a few days to head to Germany and repeat the 2011 innovative blood-spinning procedure meant to promote healing in his cartilage-poor right knee during recovery from the torn left Achilles tendon.
“No concern whatsoever,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said Thursday, adding that Bryant scheduled this procedure for now because he knew he wouldn’t be doing on-court practice yet during his recovery.
“He knew he had time. I don’t think it’s a big deal…Instead of doing it in August, he’s doing it right now.”
Separate from the Lakers statements, I’m told what Bryant is having done is not invasive enough to limit his training and rehabilitation in any way when he returns early next week.
Bryant, 35, has a history of seeking out the most cutting-edge treatments possible. He struggled to finish the 2010-11 season with the sore knee, regretting how little he was able to give Phil Jackson in his final season as Lakers coach, and raved about the effects of the procedure that is similar to platelet-rich therapy. Upon first seeing Bryant that summer, teammate Derek Fisher raved that it looked like the Kobe of old with how high he was jumping.
Bryant considered doing it again in 2012 but held off until now.
Kevin Ding is the Los Angeles Lakers Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. He has been a sportswriter covering the NBA and Lakers for the Orange County Register since 1999. His column on Kobe Bryant and LeBron James was judged the No. 1 column of 2011 by the Pro Basketball Writers Association; his column on Jeremy Lin won second place in 2012.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinDing.